Archives for June 2010

Government want local authorities to work with businesses

Steve’s thoughts

Today the Government stated that it wants local authorities and small businesses to work together to boost the economy.  Well we are a nation of shop keepers and more people work for small businesses than any other sector.

This initiative sounds great to me other than the fact that generally these two groups see each other as alians.  Getting small businesses to spend time sitting round the table in meetings which nothing happens is not going to happen.  Well at least not twice!

Having said that, it could work and I hope it does, but Local Authorities MUST provide added value and support to small businesses in order to first win the trust, then to get small business owners to recognise the value of working together.

This must NOT be another waste of paper and lots of meetings with nothing ever happening.  Let’s work together to really make a difference.

Now is the time for everyone to get off their ‘backsides’ and take ACTION!

Click here for futher details.

Search Engine Optimisation

Steve Mills – SEO

In my work as a marketing advisor I hear many stories about the effectiveness of different companies’ websites. I hear about businesses who have spent anything from £1,000 to £25,000 getting their website re-designed. Then six months later I hear that the new website is producing very little new business.

Let’s take a look at why this could be:

Here is a clue! When you hire a website designer what do you think they specilise in?  The answer is obvious, website design.  Here lies the biggest problem.  The business owner spends most of his or her budget on the design of the website.

The second problem is that the business owner spends very little money, time or effort on the marketing of the site.  In fact it is usually left to the website designer to market the site. In other words to someone who is a designer.

Let me ask you a question.  Would you entrust the off line marketing of your business to someone who has designed you a leaflet, or a brochure? No! Then why would you presume that your website designer will be an expert at internet marketing?

The simple truth is that most of them aren’t.  Why would they be, they are website designers!  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not having a go at website designers, all designers amaze me with their creativity and skill and my advice to you is to find a top designer and pay them handsomely.  But and it is a big but, not at the cost of marketing your website.

If you think about it, a website is a bit like a brochure and if I take my brochure and put it into my brief case and never show it to anyone, then my investment in the design of my brochure has been wasted.  I have got to get my brochure in front of people and more importantly in front of the people who buy my products and services.

So the real question is.  How do I market my website?  An even more important question is – how do I utilise the internet to market my business?

Well the truth is there are many ways. Let me explain. When someone builds a house, the first thing they have to get right is making sure they have secure foundations.  Logically, the taller the house, the stronger the foundations need to be.  It is exactly the same with building a business.

The more successful you want your business to be, the more marketing pillars you need.  In other words, you need to build multiple pillars to create multiple streams of income.

However, most businesses operate their internet marketing using only two or three pillars.  For example, they register their key words with the appropriate search engines and they utilise pay per click advertising programmes.

If you operate with several marketing pillars, it is essential to measure how each of these is affecting your business.  Amazingly 95% of all of the businesses I have worked with never bother to ask themselves how they can optimise the pillars they currently use and they certainly don’t know how many leads each of these pillars is producing for them.

An internet marketing Pillar is a lead, or sales generating tool which can be measured and improved. For example:

  • Search engine optimisation
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Referral marketing
  • Joining internet based networking organisations
  • Marketing analysis
  • Blogging
  • Ulitising off-line marketing
  • Keyword density
  • Newsletters
  • Article submission
  • Multiple websites selling one product
  • Branding and image
  • Client marketing
  • Viral marketing

The key is to take action!

The 10 Biggest Mistakes in Lead Generation Ebook

If anyone would like a free copy of my new ebook called

‘The 10 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes

Most Small Businesses Make’

You can download it free at

Steve speaking at the Opus Accounting Masterclass

Steve Speaking at Opus Accounting Masterclass!

I am speaking at launch of the The Opus Accounting Masterclass Group meeting.  The seminar is being hosted by Opus Accounting and I and the other speakers will be discussing how businesses can cope with the cut backs following the budget.

Go to the Opus Accounting website to book your place.

Sales Training UK

Steve Mills
Steve Mills – Profit Producer
Winning leads is an essential part of any business.  However, there are several aspects of a lead and they are:
1. The number of leads you get
2. The quality of those leads
3. The cost of those leads
4. The conversion rate

Today I would like to write about No4 – the lead conversion rate!  As a small business it is essential that you know your lead conversion rate (the number of leads you convert either direcvtly into sales, or into meetings).

It is also essential to ensure that you constantly strive to improve your lead conversion rate.  The quesiton is – what can you do to improve your current rate?

My thoughts are:

1. Follow up quicker
2. Follow up longer (don’t drop the ball)
3. Follow up in different ways (phone, email, text, etc)
4. Become better at selling
5. Take some sales training

The important thing is to know where you are, then constantly and neverendingly try to improve

Criteria Elicitation

Steve discusses sales conversion

Criteria Elicitation is understanding your prospective customers buying criteria and it is a great tool for helping sales people to better understand a prospects priorities.

So how does it work?

Firstly, you need to ask your prospect a very important question – When you are thinking of hiring a  …………………. company what is important to you?

They are going to say things like – quality, guarantee, price, reliability, etc.

The next question to ask is – which one of these is the most important?  And next?  And after that?

So you now have all the things that are important to them and you have them in the right order.

You then need to discuss and explain how your product, or service satisfies each of their needs.

Once you have done this you can ask for the sale.

Why do this?  Most sales people sell use their own criteria.  For example, they may decide that price is going to be a real motivator and so they spend all their time talking about how cheep their product is.  In fact the prospect is a multi millionaire  and has little interest in saving a few pounds.

Raise your Game is 1 year old

I am celebrating 12 months of ‘The Raise your Game’ Programme this month.  Time goes so fast and it is hard to realise the programme has been going for so long.

Someone recently asked me how long I can keep going for in terms of content?  My answer – for ever!  There is always something new to learn in marketing and sales and I spend an average of 1 to 2 hours every day learning more about sales and marketing.

I have a very special offer for anyone reading this blog.  My programmes costs £14.99 + p&p + VAT per month to buy.  So the total cost of the 12 months would be £246.60.  My offer is – I have 10 back issues left.  I am willing to sell these sets of 12 CD’s for £70 + p&p + VAT.  Or less than £6.00 per CD.  Call 0118 930 5700 if you want to order your set.  This offer is strictly on a first come, first served basis.

£1,000 training grant

It is not often that the Government will give small businesses £1,000 and in the future it might be even rarer!

So if you want to access your £1,000 go to this link.

Eat that Frog

Just completed reading Brian Tracy’s book ‘Eat that Frog’.  ‘Eat that frog’ is a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day first – Brian states that this is also the one you are most likely to put off , but also the one that will probably produce the most reward!

He continues “There simply is not enough time to get everything done.  Therefore you should focus on what is important and not what you enjoy!

Mmmm!  Something to think about!

FREE Raise your Game CD’s

I am currently offering small business owners three free copies of my Business Development ‘Raise your Game’ Programme.

click here to sign up.

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